Iola Joyce Hazeltine, age 81, died September 30, 2016, due to complications from cancer. She passed peacefully while in the loving presence of her family in Custer, SD. Even in her last moments she lit up the room with her infectious smile and class.
Joyce was born July 16, 1935, in Pierre, SD, the daughter of Howard and Ofa Mae Simpson. Well known by many South Dakotans, Joyce served as Secretary of State from 1986, through 2002. During her final term, she served as President of the National Association of Secretaries of State. Her leadership skills showed early at Fort Pierre High School where she was the first freshman chosen for the varsity cheerleading squad, graduated as class salutatorian, and was selected as a page for the legislature. She received a teaching degree from Huron College and taught for many years in Aberdeen, Eureka and Custer. She was elected president of the state Jaycettes, served as assistant chief clerk of the House of Representatives and the first woman secretary of the Senate, and owned the first association management company in the state.
In 1956, she married her true love, Dave Hazeltine. They enjoyed 60 years of marriage together, celebrating that anniversary in July. They raised three children – Derek, Tara and Kirk – and cherished the company of their grandchildren, Katelyn, Megan, Gessie, Duncan, Kennan and Evan.
Joyce is survived by her husband, Dave; daughter, Tara (Gordy) Heggen; son, Derek; sisters, Jan, Judy and JoAnne; her grandchildren, and many other family members and friends.She was preceded in death by her parents and son, Kirk.
A memorial service will be held 11:00 a.m., Saturday, October 8, 2016, at the Custer Lutheran Fellowship Church in Custer with Yvonne Steindal officiating. Interment will be held at a later date.
Memorials can be made to the Black Hills Playhouse or South Dakota Bankers Foundation, both of which she served in leadership capacities.